Red Memory: The Afterlives of China's Cultural Revolution

Product Details
$29.95  $27.85
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
6.31 X 9.38 X 1.04 inches | 1.2 pounds

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About the Author
Tania Branigan writes editorials for the Guardian and spent seven years as its China correspondent, reporting on politics, the economy, and social changes. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post. Red Memory is her first book. She lives in London.
Unfailingly acute, exceptionally humane--a masterpiece.--Julia Lovell, author of Maoism
[E]xceptional... offers insights at once deep and clear into universal and timeless questions - of memory and forgetting, of horror and what it takes both to survive it and inflict it. It is haunting, evocative, and written with an almost painful beauty. I cannot recommend it too highly.--Jonathan Freedland, author of The Escape Artist
Tania Branigan's prose is masterful and crystalline. It feels as if Joan Didion turned her powers of observation on China. Red Memory is the kind of book capable of altering your understanding of an unforgettable episode that is not a strange artifact of history but, rather, an urgent warning about our deepest, most durable frailties.--Evan Osnos, National Book Award-winning author of Age of Ambition and Wildland
Red Memory shows how the psychic wounds of Mao Zedong's decade of madness endure to this day, replicating themselves through the generations.--Barbara Demick, author of Nothing to Envy and Eat the Buddha
Tania Branigan offers nuanced, humane portraits of people whose lives were transformed by those years, and also teaches the reader much about the politics of memory.--Hari Kunzru, author of Red Pill
Without understanding the Cultural Revolution and its long-term influence, it is impossible to understand today's China. I hope that all China experts, policymakers, think tankers, and the public perceive this and read Red Memory.--Peidong Sun, associate professor of history, Cornell University
A veritable masterwork.--Qian Julie Wang, author of Beautiful Country
Red Memory will tell you more about Xi Jinping's rule than any tome on economics.--Lindsey Hilsum, author of In Extremis
A breathtaking work.--Oliver Burkeman, author of Four Thousand Weeks
Tania Branigan's ability to weave personal stories into their political context brings a complex story to life. This is a masterclass in storytelling and journalism.--Gary Younge, author of Another Day in the Death of America
What makes Branigan's account special is captured in a line at the end of her work: 'This book could not be written if I were to begin it today'.... Amid the growing difficulties of accessing lived experiences in China, Branigan's lyrical style of writing lends itself well to intimate encounters with interviewees.... Her humanising approach to writing about China is particularly valuable amid our current polarising geopolitical narrative, which loves strong lines between enemies and allies. It is also appropriate for capturing a decade in which the line between hunter and hunted shifted with the political winds of the day.--Yuan Yang "Financial Times"
This book is thoroughly deserving of prominence. It is complex ... because so is China.--Max Hastings "Sunday Times"
[A] penetrating study of the buried stories of the Cultural Revolution of 1966 to 1976.--Isabel Hinton "Prospect"
This is a beautifully written and thought-provoking book.--Yuan Yi Zhu "The Times"
[Branigan delivers] poignant, engaging stories that reveal the deep scars left by the Cultural Revolution....Across a beautifully rendered text, the author astutely examines the Maoist ideology that drove the tumultuous class struggle and destruction.... Sensitive [and] well-researched.-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
Branigan's book is investigative journalism at its best, its hard-won access eliciting deep insight. The result is a survey of China's invisible scars that makes essential reading for anyone seeking to better understand the nation today.--Marina Benjamin "Guardian"
Branigan weaves fascinating, unbelievable, and often terrifying personal narratives into her analysis. Her deep insight into a nation's painted-over trauma explains how mass hysteria, rampant betrayal, and even cannibalism have shattered a society for generations afterwards.-- "Booklist"
A visceral history of the Cultural Revolution and a probing look at how modern-day Chinese Communist Party has sought to erase this chapter from its past...This is essential reading for China watchers.-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
Compelling .... Red Memory is also an exercise in attempting the impossible, of trying to reconstruct what it was like to live through and then live with one of the most brutal periods of modern Chinese history. Branigan comes closer to doing so than anyone else has in the English language.--Emily Feng "NPR"
Branigan's book offers an equally important cautionary lesson: the perils of ignoring or distorting history. What a country downplays in its historical record continues to reverberate, whether it's the Cultural Revolution in China or the treatment of Native Americans and the legacy of slavery in the United States.--Pamela Paul "New York Times"
[An] absorbing study of the legacy of the Cultural Revolution.--Avro Chakraborty "Air Mail"
[T]he past, as Ms. Branigan shows in this evocative book, is not so easy to suppress.--Stephen R. Platt "Wall Street Journal"